Let us read three thank-you letters to Takamori-sensei and review the Webinar on the Law of Cause and Effect
Living to Find Good Conditions
Yudai Maeshima, Buddhist Teacher
I learned that Buddhism teaches that my past deeds were the cause of my birth and my parents were the condition, and also that I am an eternal life that permeates the three worlds. This lifeforce is like a storehouse, which stores my actions as invisible karmic power and has a limitless capacity.
I just cannot imagine how many karmic seeds I have accumulated from eons past. Master Shinran stated, “Under the right conditions, I, Shinran, would do anything.” I have realized that given a compelling set of conditions, human beings are capable of any deed.
Such people as us can never become happy without selecting good conditions. I do not think it is too much to say that the purpose of having been born as a human is to seek out good conditions.
Conditions We Can Choose and The Ones We Cannot
All effects occur when causes and conditions unite. Our eternal life, which has eons of history, contains innumerable karmic seeds. Though there is nothing we can do with regards to the seeds we have planted in the past, we can change the outcomes we reap in life by changing the conditions.
This shows us just how important conditions are. If causes alone decided the effects, without any conditions, it would mean we were at the mercy of fate. This is known as fatalism, which goes against the truth. So can we freely change the effects we harvest through varying conditions? Buddhism teaches us that there are both conditions we can choose and conditions we cannot choose.
Perfect freedom does not exist in this world. We can never escape from the world bound by karma and conditions. That is the limitation of human beings. This is taught in a greatly impactful way in Section 13 of Lamenting the Deviations.
Even when we try to follow the teachings of the true Buddhist teachers in order to gain salvation by Amida Buddha, there are still things we cannot do. Even if we don’t mean to do something terrible, we sometimes do so inadvertently. These are because of karmic conditions. Hearing this has made me see the fearsomeness of karmic conditions.
Shinran Followers should choose good conditions in life. Bearing in mind the teaching to “nurture cordial relations with true Buddhist teachers and fellow followers,” I will head for the light.
Buddhist Teachings Are important and So Are the Friends We Choose Along the Way
I learned through Section 13 of Tannisho that there are two types of conditions: those that you can choose and those that you cannot choose. Even if a true Buddhist master tells us to do something, if the right conditions are not present, we are unable to do what we have been asked to do. On the other hand, under the right conditions, we cannot avoid killing hundreds and thousands of people even though we know that it is an absolutely horrible thing to do. I was terrified to hear this.
Every time I hear about tragic news on TV, I automatically think of it as someone else’s problem and believe that such an awful thing would never happen to me.
However, I learned that if I’m under the right conditions, anything is possible, and I have all sorts of causes and conditions within me. That is why we must seek out good conditions whenever we can. Buddhism teaches what these good conditions are.
I will listen to true Buddhism and walk the path that leads to true happiness together with my Buddhist friends. Furthermore, I would like to be a good condition for others as well.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #61 | 2016, What Kind of Condition Should We Have to Attain Happiness?
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